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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if you can herd goats? They are definitely not like sheep, they have a mind of their own and want to do what they want. but will they follow a shepherd?:whatgoat::whatgoat:
 

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Dogs can herd them and I will chase/herd mine into a pen or into the barn.

In their native Alps, people herded goats for hundreds of years into the mountains in the spring and back down in the winter, moving them to better grazing/browsing areas. They had goatherds instead of sheperds.

Not sure if its a case of them following a human or a case of a human and or dog moving them from behind.
 

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I suppose if a goat learned to follow a person like a Shepard they would. I saw on this one episode of Doomsday Preppers where this one man had taught his goats to follow him with food so in an emergency they could "bug out" with him. Seemed to work pretty well, but it's hard to tell how well on TV. :p

My dogs kind of herd the goats but I think the little goats are a bit too smart for herding. They usually tell my dogs to go away or even butt them if they feel the dogs are bothering them. I'm sure there has to be someone out there that's been able to herd with a dog though. Probably just takes a lot of time and training ;)
 

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I hand-raise all my goats and install myself as the alpha. They follow me everywhere. When I walk them I can take off the leads and they stay within a few yards of me all the time. :)
 

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You can't herd goats that don't know, like and trust you. If they do, they'll follow you.
 

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The breeder I got two of my girls from would call "Walkies!" and her goats would come running after her...stopping to nibble tasty weeds, of course. She was the head girl's head girl, or the herd queen's herd queen, from whom good things come, like sweetfeed. It was a long straggling line of a couple dozen goats. Their property did not go on forever, so I'm not sure how far she could have walked with a string of goats behind her, before they lost interest.
 

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My group will follow me, I started out with 3 and now, many yrs., later, take 18 for walks through the woods! If I stop walking - they will mill around, browse etc. Then I whistle and start walking and they all follow me- except when we head back to the barn, then they pass me and run! So, I turn around, yell "this way" and
go the opposite way! They run back- It is a lot of fun! Even my separate herd of 2 bucks and 3 wethers will follow me all over. (unless they are with the girls, then mass chaos!).
So, yes, goats can be herded and led, if you work with them.
 

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We take our goats out in the woods for exercise and browsing. They are bottle babies and will follow us anywhere. They stay right with us and run to us if scared. They will also follow my dog and I send him to the barn when we get back and they follow him right in.
 

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Yep, you can train them to herd. Ours do. They follow us to/from the woods, front yard, etc.
It's funny, all I have to say is 'come on girls!' and they are right behind me.
Our front yard is not completely fenced, just along the roadway, and one side. We live on a busy country road. The girls are trained to follow us to the front yard, and they know where they can/can not go. Of course we have to watch because yep, they have a mind of their own lol

When we are taking them back, if they don't want to go back we herd them back, or herd them wherever we need them to go. You just have to work with them and train them.

Certain words/tones are great, they definitely understand. If I say one Spanish word <means move it lol> and throw my hands up and down in front of me, they know that means MOVE IT NOW lol

If I do it gently and just say move it they know they've overstepped a boundary and need to move in the opposite direction.
 

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Mine follow me. They have learned when I call them I either have something good for them or am taking them to q down tree. Even the ones that dislike me will come. They will herd for a dog as well. If mine are stubborn about coming Into the pen that's the only time I allow the dogs to herd them. It actually works good since the neighbors dogs were after them one day and they ran to the pen that's by the housewith me and a gun iinside ;)
 

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Man mine follow me everywhere usually unless they're exposed to something new-apple trees are the worst temptation for mine. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all! And just one more question, can you heard a large herd with dogs? Maybe 150 goats. I know it would be probably to many to herd but I was just wondering!;)
 

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Herding and leading are 2 separate things. Herding is being moved by another creature, usually from behind. Leading is when you (or something else) go in front and they follow. Mine all follow me because they know I am the bearer of yummy things and instinct is for herd animals to follow the lead animal.

I know a lot of people who train herding dogs using goats, so it can be done. I had a dog who would herd my goats down to their outside pen every morning, so it can be done. A good herding dog will easily dodge even the most onery doe.
 

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I was wondering if you can herd goats? They are definitely not like sheep, they have a mind of their own and want to do what they want. but will they follow a shepherd?:whatgoat::whatgoat:
It depends on the goat, the 'shepherd', and the circumstances. My girls that know what grain is will follow me with a grain bucket with no problem. I also have goats that - when I forget to chain their gate, the wind blows it open, and they get out - will follow me back to their pen with no grain bucket. I also 'herd' my girls from one pen to another when the situation warrants it.
 

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My girls will follow me everywhere and come when called , at least most of the time. Unless there is a temptation they cant resist , then it is difficult to get them to leave that area. If I have a grain bucket , I need to stay a couple steps ahead of them or get smooshed :)
I have yet to find something that will get them off my hyacinth bush !
They pay me no mind when they are on that poor bush ! The only thing I have found that will chase them away from it is if my husband starts the tractor and moves towards them with it , lolol. Then the mad rush to get back to mommy begins and it is quite the scene to see eighteen goats come galloping right at you , some with that "oh my God" look on their face and others with a look of "can we do that again Mom" :D
My dogs , Border Collies , will herd them , but not seriously because they were taught "not" to bother with them because I want the dogs out with me all the time . The goats don't worry about the dogs and will happily graze next to them while they play ball , lolol. And if a dog does get too pushy with her herding , the goats will chase them away .
Pretty amusing animal family I have ;)
 

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Our bf is also who we got our goats from. If she wants the goats to come she hollers "here goats " and they come running :). We've only had our goats a week and it works great. If we want to just locate them in their pasture we just say the Nubian "maaah " and they answer lol.
 

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Thank you all! And just one more question, can you heard a large herd with dogs? Maybe 150 goats. I know it would be probably to many to herd but I was just wondering!;)
Sure you can. I've read a lot of articles about people with anywhere from 300-500 goats who hire those goats out to clear brush and use dogs to herd them. I'm not sure how one would go about training their dogs to do it, but I know it can be done.
 

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The bucket rattle is great until the goats are in lush alfalfa or poisonous plants and don't want to leave. We have lots of folks who decide they can just lead them with feed, and then end up with a horror story when they realize they have no control of their animals. Leading animals inside of fenced areas is one thing, leading animals by farm fields with standing crops or through areas with houses, poisonous plants, etc is quite another.

Here is the only way to move goats with control in wide open spaces.


 

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Yes, you can use dogs to herd goats. In my breed English Shepherd (which is a rare American breed) they are used on by many goat farmers. A litter brother to my girl lives in NC and herds a dairy goat farm. The owner sells goat cheese at local farmer's markets.

The AHBA even test herding skills on goats. This herding org includes any breed of dog for herding on goats, sheep, duck and chickens.
 
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